Pollster Doug Schoen describes himself as “one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants for over thirty years.” The last I wrote about him was a few years ago in the context of a poll he did of Occupy Wall Street.
On Feb. 3, Schoen, who has been working for Michael Bloomberg, wrote:
If former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ran for president as an independent, he would be a serious contender for the White House. . . . Mr. Bloomberg is a fiscally prudent conciliator who advances pro-growth policies and takes tough stands.
Hmmm . . . “fiscally prudent” = budget cuts and tax hikes . . . “tough stands” = unpopular positions. What’s not to like?
Schoen also writes this:
Bernie Sanders is leading a lurch toward socialism, and Hillary Clinton is seeking to match if not exceed his leftist agenda.
Fair enough on Sanders, but does Schoen really think Clinton is “seeking to match if not exceed his leftist agenda”? I guess these are just words. Schoen can say whatever he wants, it doesn’t need to make any sense at all.
Schoen also prepared these delightful maps:
Bloomberg must have been convinced by that second map, because he then wrote:
But when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. . . . In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress.
No, actually I think that in a three-way race it would be very likely that one of the three candidates would win a majority of electoral votes. Why do I say this?
First, in a three-way race it would be highly likely that one of the three candidates would do much worse than the other two and win zero or very few states.
Second, even in the unlikely scenario that all three candidates win some states, it would still be very possible for one candidate to win an electoral college majority, as in 1860 or 1912. Sure, a split vote could happen, but it’s unlikely.
I think Bloomberg made a good decision not to run for president. In my personal opinion, with Schoen as his pollster, he’d have been operating under a serious handicap.
Note: An earlier version of this post inappropriately characterized Mr. Schoen’s work and has been updated to remove those characterizations.